This isn’t my typical report of Atlanta Falcons news, but it is certainly news that will affect the Falcons.
During training camp yesterday, CB E.J. Biggers suffered a broken bone in his foot. While we don’t know as of yet how long he will be out of practice and whether or not he will actually miss any of the regular season, it brings up some interesting questions if he does end up missing games that count.
First, there is little to no depth behind Biggers at corner on Tampa’s roster. Those players behind Biggers, Talib, and Wright on the depth chart aren’t of a tremendously high quality or productivity level. Since the Bucs decided to move Ronde Barber from CB to Free Safety this offseason, if removes depth at the corner position. The thought is that perhaps Barber will play CB until Biggers is healthy again. But that produces problems.
If Barber plays cornerback until Biggers is healthy, who is going to play FS? Cody Grimm is next in line, but he’s certainly not a great option.
Clearly this who issue disrupts the Bucs defense. But how does it affect the Falcons? The answer is on the quality of players that the Bucs will line up on defense against the Falcons. Having a weak secondary makes it necessary for the defensive line to generate all the pressure. They have to get to the QB and fast, or even an average passing attack will shred the secondary. The Falcons, who are certainly an above average passing attack, need only protect Ryan slightly better than in their 2011 week 3 matchup to shred the Bucs secondary if it is missing Biggers when they match up. Even if they don’t face a Biggers-less Bucs (say that five times fast!), the first three weeks of the Bucs regular season is against the Panthers, the Giants, and the Cowboys. The Bucs could start the season 0-3, improving the Falcons chances in the division. The health of Biggers and the Bucs depth/production out of their CBs is something to keep an eye on throughout the preseason.